Top honeymoon havens in Jamaica
Top honeymoon havens in Jamaica
No island caters to newlyweds the way Jamaica does. Although many couples have a budget when planning their honeymoon, all agree that jaw-dropping views of the sea and fine wine to toast the sunset morph a great honeymoon into a grand way to kick-start a life together. There is a cornucopia of choices — from swanky all-inclusive resorts to tranquil honeymoon havens on the beach. For couples who like to dance, there's always a party on Seven Mile Beach in Negril and for twosomes looking for privacy, there are plenty of palm trees on Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, in addition to umpteen secluded beaches that dot the rest of the island.
Head south: A honeymoon at Sandals Whitehouse on Whitehouse Beach is regal from top to bottom. Butlers expertly arrange dinner under the stars and in the 'Honeymoon Romeo and Juliet Suite' steps from the beach, amenities include the king-size four-poster bed, whirlpool bath and dedicated concierge. On a 500-acre nature preserve, star attractions at the Euro-inspired all-inclusive are the grand piazza that is lined with bistros, cafes and bars, two sandy miles of uninterrupted beach and three pools — including Jamaica's largest. sandals.com
Sunset sail: With the shoreline in view, a cozy deck made for two and a soundtrack of reggae to mellow the mood, Lovers' Rock Catamaran Cruise is a must-do for honeymooners. Spicy snacks and cocktails keep things lively as the three-hour Island Routes tour that departs from Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay is timed to greet the sunset. islandroutes.com
Regal rooms: Named after the crescent-shaped beach right outside its door, Half Moon, A RockResort, has been hosting honeymooners since it opened more than 50 years ago. A Montego Bay landmark, the resort is one-stop-shopping with golf on the 18-hole championship course, dinner at the Sugar Mill with its own sommelier, a nightcap at one of seven bars and a couple's massage at the Fern Tree Spa. For the ultimate indulgence, Royal Villas come with a butler and chef.halfmoon.rockresorts.com
Beach secrets: Ideal for a tryst with your new significant other, Secrets St. James is an adults-only playground on a peninsula in Montego Bay. British Colonial in style and pure Jamaican in vibe, the resort snuggles a sheltered half-mile stretch of beach. Suites are couple-friendly with whirlpool tubs and room service available for a late-night nibble or nosh. For those staying seven nights, the Secrets Eternity Honeymoon package comes with mimosas in bed, salt glow body scrub pour deux, seaside dinner with a bottle of wine and complimentary nights for a return anniversary stay.secretsresorts.com
Star status: A long road leads to the white sand where Tom Cruise once juggled bottles in the hit film Cocktail. Home to a delightful reef just offshore, Winnifred Beach in Portland is not only popular with honeymooners who snorkel in the bright blue but also with locals who come to toss around a football and dig into a plate of jerk fish. A treat on the weekends, boat trips make the short hop to Monkey Island and tours take riders on a horseback trot along the sea's edge.
City slickers: Across the street from Doctor's Cave Beach coveted for the healing minerals in the translucent water, Sandals Carlyle on the Hip Strip in Montego Bay is ideal for newlyweds looking for an intimate honeymoon stay. Comfy with just 52 rooms and a staff so friendly they'll remember your name as soon as you check in, the hotel on the strip is the smallest Sandals resort on the island but big on charm with 24-hour room service, two bars, three restaurants and an ambience that feels more like a B&B than a resort. sandals.com
Eat, play and stay: In Ocho Rios, the petite sandy strand known as Reggae Beach is a favorite pit stop for honeymooners who come to hear an afternoon jam session on the sand and snorkel with the coral and clownfish that cavort below the waves. Flanked by jagged cliffs and sea grape trees, there are comfy sun loungers for taking five (or longer), beach bars that chill coolers of Red Stripe, bands pumping out reggae and soca and bonfires at sunset.